Cultural Survival Responds to COVID-19 in Indigenous Communities

On June 18, 2020, Channel grantee partner Cultural Survival launched a mapping project (see map below) to document and disseminate data that illustrates the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous Peoples and communities as part their broader effort to respond to the growing crisis with a holistic, multi-layered approach. Alongside their regular comprehensive programming, Cultural Survival “swiftly adapted to also provide emergency support to Indigenous Peoples who are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, globally.” Cultural Survival recognizes the “alarming rates of inequities and systemic discrimination” that Indigenous communities face. Among these, Indigenous communities have limited to no access to information, holistic medical care, medical supplies, food, housing. They are “nearly three times as likely to live in extreme poverty and likely to suffer negative outcomes from infectious diseases.”

To assist with closing the information gap, Cultural Survival explains that there is a “great need for disaggregated data as many State governments are not tracking infection rates by ethnicity or minority groups, but it is widely known and ignored that Indigenous communities and People of Color are disproportionately affected.”

Alongside their mapping project, Cultural Survival is focusing on redistributing financial resources via their Keepers of the Earth Fund. Additionally, with their Community Media Grants Project, they have already provided grants to 21 radio stations that are urgently creating and distributing radio programs about COVID-19 prevention, food sovereignty, community health, social aid, economy, and entrepreneurship.

Moreover, their holistic approach is highlighted by their efforts to develop, distribute, and translate life-saving information and materials. Through their Indigenous Rights Radio program they have sourced, produced, disseminated, and translated 210 Public Service Announcements for preventative measures against COVID-19 into 92 Indigenous languages and distributed through 1200+ radio stations globally. Among these efforts is the release of a Prevention Manual for Indigenous Community Radio Stations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency. For more information about Cultural Survival and their responses to COVID-19, please click here.

Disclaimer from Cultural Survival about the map:
Empty areas do not imply that there are no cases of COVID-19 or human rights violations. This is a continuous and not exhaustive effort and we invite Indigenous Peoples and their communities to contribute.

We want to acknowledge the journalists and organizations that have been covering and sharing information on how Indigenous Peoples are impacted by the pandemic. We have tried to include links to all the source information in the map.